Structural health monitoring technology is perceived as a revolutionary method of determining the integrity of structures
involving the use of multidisciplinary fields including sensors, materials, system integration, signal processing and
interpretation. The core of the technology is the development of self-sufficient systems for the continuous monitoring,
inspection and damage detection of structures with minimal labor involvement. A major drawback of the existing
technology for real-time structural health monitoring is the requirement for external electrical power input. For some
applications, such as missiles or combat vehicles in the field, this factor can drastically limit the use of the technology.
Having an on-board electrical power source that is independent of the vehicle power system can greatly enhance the
SHM system and make it a completely self-contained system. In this paper, using the SMART layer technology as a
basis, an Autonomous Self-powered (ASP) Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) system has been developed to solve the
major challenge facing the transition of SHM systems into field applications. The architecture of the self-powered SHM system was first designed. There are four major components included in the SHM system: SMART Layer with sensor network, low power consumption diagnostic hardware, rechargeable battery with energy harvesting device, and host computer with supporting software. A prototype of the integrated self-powered active SHM system was built for performance and functionality testing. Results from the evaluation tests demonstrated that a fully charged battery system is capable of powering the SHM system for active scanning up to 10 hours.